Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Rating: 5 /5 stars
Describe it in three words: Cute – Cute – Cute (not sorry)
First impression: Time to see what the hype is about
Last impression: Awwwwww
Format: Purchased/read on Kindle
Anna can’t wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she’s not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home. Will a year of romantic near-misses end in the French kiss Anna awaits?
Review: This is exactly what I’m looking for when I read a young adult romance. All YA authors should read this book before writing one of their own. I feel like I smiled to myself like an idiot throughout the whole book; it was just so damn cute. Anna was one of the most relatable characters I’ve encountered. Her experiences completely mirror those of the average teenage girl: getting screwed over by a best friend, falling for a boy who has a girlfriend, making mistakes with friends, feeling sparks for the first time, thinking you have a crush on the “bad boy,” trying to make new friends and fit in, feeling lonely in a new place/school – the list goes on. I’ve gotta say it definitely made me glad I’m 22 instead of 18. I absolutely loved the backdrop of Paris; it was neat hearing about all of the landmarks and sights she got to experience for the first time. It wasn’t overwhelmingly about Paris, which was nice; it allowed the reader to focus on the story and the relationships without getting too caught up in where it was all happening. It also confirmed that I need to get the hell out of the US for once in my life. St. Clair was obviously adorable and I fell in love with him along with Anna. Their romance was dramatic at times, but whose hasn’t been? It wasn’t totally a love-at-first-sight thing (thank god) and the reader really did follow their relationship and watch it grow organically. You really don’t get that too much these days… most books involve characters falling in love after a few minutes and it just isn’t realistic. This book had all the elements of a good YA romance and I TOTALLY see what all the hype is about. I even had this to say at one point:
So yeah, saying I enjoyed this book is an understatement. Luckily I went into it with the mindset of “this is going to be a cute, fairly predictable, and happy little romance book” – because expecting anything “deeper” than that would be a mistake. You definitely get what you’re asking for! It’s a feel-good read for anyone.
It was weird hearing Isla get mentioned a few times in the book because I knew her own story was coming in a future book, but it made me wonder where Lola is. I haven’t read the description for Lola and the Boy Next Door yet, but I figured she would have probably been mentioned in this book too. Oh well – still eager to get going next week on book #2!